Don’t excuse the result because Barcelona are great.

by .

courtesy @allthatchas

Tough one really, I mean. It’s easy to be despondent. We just failed in the last 16 of the Champions League again. We lost to Barca, again. But there are some positives to take.

I’m not going to dissect the game, because I don’t have time, but I’ll give some topline thoughts.

Tactics:

I thought we ran a tight shop for most of the game. I think the game plan was right, the personnel was not. Wenger was let down by mistakes, but ultimately, mistakes from players he’s put far too much trust in. Barca didn’t dominate us like they could have, but it did feel like they always had an extra gear that we lacked.

I had Juve / Bayern on the other screen. They went two down and pulled it back. Why can’t Arsenal do that? If we went down to Bayern, you’d have the same feeling. If we went 2 down to Juve, again, you’d give us no hope. Why is that?

Goals:

We created some great chances last night. If Chamberlain shoots either side of the keeper from 8 yards, that changes the game. If Giroud can put that header in or get into the right positions, we’re changing the game. We had great chances, but we’re not clinical in front of goal. Arsene Wenger can’t complain. He’s had 3 years to address these issues and he hasn’t.

‘But who was there to buy?’

Higuain, breaking records in Serie A. Suarez, who if we’d pushed our bid to £50m, we’d have landed. Pierre-Erick, who we’d have if our scouting network was a bit sharper. Lukaku if we were sharper in the market and wanted to develop someone. Dybala scored last night for Juve (13 goals and 8 assists this year). Teams are scoring goals, teams are finding gems, so you can’t excuse a team with more money than sense missing out on everyone.

Doing nothing and talking about bread in supermarkets isn’t acceptable.

Midfield:

It wasn’t a great night in the office from Coquelin. He’s a very good player, exposed at the highest level. But here’s the thing, that guy is an accident in our team, Wenger never recognised the need for someone like him in the side. Worse still, Wenger brings on Flamini who gives away a penalty almost instantly. Flamini tries his hardest, but he’s been a problem for 3 seasons now. You build a squad in the knowledge you’ll have to play these people. Why Arteta and Flamini are anywhere near it is beyond me. But you pay the price in the end. Last night, our hopes in that game were killed by a lack of ruthlessness that’s pervaded the last 10 years of Wenger’s career.

But Barca are good:

This argument always crops up and it’s an understandable one. Barcelona are one of the greatest sides of all time. They have been for years. You either accept that as a challenge and you work to be better, or you use it as an excuse. I’d rather we tried to take them on. We have massive funds that we’re not using to make our squad as good as theirs. Why is that? How can you accept being second best if you didn’t at least try to make things better?

Did the manager think our squad was as good as their one in the summer? If he didn’t, why did he only add one player. The one player Barcelona would take from us.

Also worth remembering that Atletico Madrid, a team of lower financial power than us, successfully wrestled the league from Barca and Madrid. That wasn’t a fluke, it was just bloody mindedness and smarts

We’ve had 5 years of good times financially. We’re still no closer to cracking Europe. It’s crazy.

Also, let’s not cite City as an example of spunking money with nothing to show in Europe. They’ve won the league title. Chelsea have won the Champions League. United have. LIVERPOOL HAVE. All in recent times. Why haven’t we?

One man, consistent in all of this…

Conclusion:

Going out of the competition, which is pretty likely is great for our title chances, but it’s another black mark next to the name of a manager obsessed with a competition he can’t win.

Too many focus on the opposition as the reason we lost, rather than the reason the opposition is still so much better than us. We need to address why we’ve never cracked the Champions League and we need to sharpen up. It’s becoming very embarrassing. We’re not even the bridesmaid, we’re the +1 on an evening invite.

Real sad.

More tomorrow.

608 Responses to “Don’t excuse the result because Barcelona are great.”

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  1. Redtruth

    Bamford
    “Cech has improved us. Has he elevated us to the level of genuine EPL title contender? No, but no one player would. Has he elevated us such that we can beat Barcelona? No, but again, no one player would.
    Is he better than Ospina? Yes. Is he a title-winning caliber keeper? Yes. Has he improved us? Yes.”

    I ask again how has Cech improved us ?

  2. Bamford10

    Watch Yaya Toure’s performance last night. 60% of the player he was at his best and still a better CAM than Mesut Ozil.

    This is true, but I also say it to wake certain Grovers up. 😉

  3. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    I am at a loss in understanding what you suggest I am saying.

    I have made it crystal clear that I don’t agree or like that the club is being run
    as solely a business and not a football club.

    Also I attach blame for what is going on to lack of leadership primarily from
    Kroenke and the Board who are effectively ‘yes men’. Kroenke is clearly only
    interested in balance sheet and not football matters.

    I have made it clear consistently that Wenger is past his sell by date and is
    no longer a good Manager. However, I am realistic and realise that there is only likely to be regime change if owner and board get rid of him which means the sack or non renewal of contract. Wenger has nothing else in his
    life apart from his job and is not going to give up on a £8 million salary.

    If you were in his shoes would you?

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Losing at Old Trafford would have to be the end, both Chelsea and United are utter shit this season, Chelsea did the double over us and now we’ve got the test at Old Trafford, a place we also usually shit our pants.

    We beat United at home, but we rarely fair well at Old Trafford in the EPL, yet another psychological, bottle test. Fail, and that will be Chelsea and United, both bottle tests, failed in the space of a month.

    We can’t expect to win at WHL if we lose on Sunday, certainly not at City with 180 minutes of football left if anything is on the line.

    Sunday is must win and we have to start scoring and playing well.

  5. Danny

    Did anybody count how many times Ox rolled completely over in that tackle with Mascherano? Embarrassing stuff. Plus it was totally his fault for overrunning the ball.
    He won’t be missed.

  6. Emiratesstroller

    CA

    We need to start playing better football with more composure. If that happens then perhaps we may start scoring goals again!

    I would replace Ox with Welbeck [not Walcott] and keep the rest of team until Cazorla is match fit when I bring him in as replacement for Ramsey.

  7. Redtruth

    Bamford

    How has Cech improved us ? We lose both games to an average Chelsea, we suffer our biggest defeat in Europe, we exit from the same stage of the Champions league as the last 5 seasons….the same flaws which has blighted our team in the past remain.

    How silly to say Cech has improved us when the evidence suggests quite a different story.

  8. Micheal

    30
    February 25, 2016 11:41:26

    Fire the owner. Bring in the fat man.
    ====

    The total lack of understanding at how busines works is embarrassing. Or an indictment of the country’s education system.

    Perhaps you could explain how to “sack” the man who owns around 70% of the company’s shares.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    ES

    Means keeping Giroud though, I suppose Welbeck being more of an ‘active’ type player as opposed to Walcott or Oxlade might improve us, but I would like to see Welbeck at ST, he’s looked really sharp since coming back.

    Time to see Elneny as well, we have no idea how much longer Caz will be out for, you can’t trust predictive return dates at Arsenal. Wenger does this, buys a players then keeps him under wraps so he can refer to him as an option and a ‘new signing’ without actually putting it to the test.

    Our central midfield really is shocking, I cannot believe its been left in the state it has been, even without improving out ST, a better, stronger more intelligent central midfield and we’d be away at the top.

  10. Carts

    Stroller

    FA Cup

    This is the problem though, people use the FA Cup as a sign of how far we’ve come, when real is should be a basic requisite for a team like Arsenal. Even the League cup where we fielded an strengthened team against Chelsea. The fact that Wigan and Portsmouth have won it tells you all you need to know. I’m not downplaying that success, as I’m glad we’ve retained it and hold the record for the most FA Cup wins.

    Stability

    It’s a bit of a moot point when you mention Utd from the 80s, Chelsea post Abramovich and City post Erickson and Robinho. Yes those team we’re close to doing a Lehmann Brothers but the fact remains that they’ve shown ambition and luckily turned their fortunes around.

    Commercial

    I fully understand the sacrifices that came with The Emirates. We made massive decisions which hurt us financially. But sitting here now we’re still sort of playing catch up. Puma and Emirates to one side, we’re still lacking. We haven’t even ever been to the states lol

    Underinvestment

    No need to repeat anything there as it’s clear as day, as Bamford concisely put it, it’s ALL ON WENGER

  11. Phd007

    WallaceFebruary 25, 2016 07:43:54
    Jeff“At Arsenal he can fail to win a major trophy for 12 years, he can say things like “fourth is like a trophy” and get away with it.”so if he wins it this year how will you spin it?also, I see you’re conveniently forgetting the FA Cup….or are you American?
    ———————————–
    I’m sorry,but I’ve read some real dumb sh*te on here today…
    & Wallace by far,has come up with some out of this universe bollocks..

    Wallace,do you believe half the sh*ite you write?
    Or, are you on some wind up?

    Seriously dude,it’s gone way past being a sycophant..

    I’m seriously wondering if you are cerebrally challenged??

    Or someone,smashed your head into a brick wall,thus rendering you slow & incapable of thought?

  12. gambon

    Redtruth

    Our attack is absolutely appalling, not to mention our midfield.

    We have some of the worst goalscorers this club has ever seen. We have the worst midfield I can remember since pre-Wenger days.

    Yet we are still on course for a standard “elite failure”season.

    Does that not say a lot about what Cech has brought to the club.

    He is a massive upgrade on Ospina and Szczesny, that is a fact, it isnt up for debate, its not an opinion, its just a fact.

    Your weird hatred for every footballer in the history of the game, is…..well…….weird.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    In all honesty, if we wanted to step up to a great side, aside from a new manager obviously which isn’t going to happen, you’d be looking at:

    Cech
    Bellerin, New CB, Kozz, Monreal
    New CDM, New CM
    Sanchez, Ozil, New LM
    New ST

    Just my opinion. But so many elements of our side are average or ‘good/decent.’

    Says something in the most messed up league in years we’re still struggling, even with all our stability and cohesion many other teams don’t have that we were told would be the key, we’re still labouring.

    People might say, well, what about City, United and Chelsea then. True. Difference being…going, going, gone. All those ‘top clubs’ have recognised what they are doing isn’t good enough.

    Arguably going to be the biggest missed opportunity of Wenger’s career if we f**k this up.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    CA

    I agree with 4 replacements, but I think that Coquelin is a good DMF if we have
    the right players alongside him.

    You don’t need to change every player simply because they are not world class.

    The major problem with Arsenal is that there has been a lack of real variety in
    our midfield for a long time. Too many lightweight players.

  15. gambon

    Redtruth,

    Look I know you arent very smart, and youre an angry little 16 year old.

    But even you should be able to understand this.

    We have neither improved or regressed this season. We are basically where we were last season.

    However our attack has gone to shit.

    We scored 71 goals last season, and we are on course for 60 goals this season. Thats a 15% drop in goals scored.

    Our midfield is far worse. Cazorla injured, Coquelin inured, Wilshere hasnt even played, flamini and Arteta are one year older and one year shitter.

    Yet despite all that we are 3rd, and we havent regressed.

    So if our attack has regressed so heavily, and our midfield is so terrible…..doesnt that mean we must have improved elsewhere in order to have not regressed as a team?

    Even you cant use your angry “I hate everyone apart from Ospina” logic on this.

  16. Cesc Appeal

    ES

    That’s not what I’m saying though, we don’t even have close to a team of WC players so just very good players will suffice. If you were replacing Ozil and Sanchez the only choice would be WC players, Coq, Ramsey, Giroud, Mert, Oxlade/Walcott, not so much.

    I’m not sold on Coq’s brain and on the ball ability, but I certainly would not be upset to see him at CDM again next season provided he has a much, much better CM next to him, like a Xhaka who combines physicality with on the ball work.

    New CB is much needed, Gabriel and Kozz seem to clash, Mert needs replacing and not sure on Chambers.

    Certainly need a left footed attacking midfielder, or one gifted with both feet (like Draxler, but injury worries there, surprised me actually a player Wenger has always wanted, moved for £25 Million and he did nothing).

    Need for new ST is self evident obviously.

  17. Redtruth

    The Premier league has regressed from even last season or haven’t you noticed who is leading the table.

    Arsenal may of remained constant in their mediocrity but others have dropped off and regressed markedly ……….which would explain our league position..

  18. Dissenter

    There are many brilliant conversations going on at the moment and I’m always impressed by Wallace’s riposte to the criticisms that come flying his way.

    Redtruth’s continued reality distortions about Cech are really pathetic.. It’s so annoying that I would get someone to break his fingers to spare the keyboard from constant abuse.

  19. Bamford10

    And Emirates continues to run interference for Wenger, obscuring the issue, being disingenuous, etc.

    Disappointing.

  20. gambon

    Redtruth

    You are so simple. We are talking IQ of 34 or something.

    Injuries are a fact. Theres nothing you can do to change the fact that we have a lot of injuries.

    Its not an excuse at all.

    I am highly critical of Wenger, and one of the main reasons I think he is a poor manager is the injury issues. Namely:

    1- He never prepares a squad under the assumption there will be x number of injuries per season
    2- He retains injury prone players, lies about the extent of their injuries and causes injury by having no idea how to successfully rotate

    But what is your opinion?

    That we dont have injuries? Are you pretending they dont exist.

    Like I say, they are a fact.

  21. David Seaman Waxes His Tash

    Red Truth

    You know nothing about football you are a complete mug! Cech is one of the best keepers in Europe and has improved us as he’so an upgrade on the utter crap we had before with chubby flappy Ospina ( who you rate) and Chesny

    You are a complete idiot with severe problems. Mug. I bet you spend your evenings hunched over a laptop with a box of tissues next to you wanting someone to give you a response to make your own lonely existence worthwhile. Sad little mug

  22. Dissenter

    There used to be a time when Red ignored by most posters.
    Now he’s become a legrove staple by the sheer volume of his intellectually atrophied and idiotic posts.

    People need to realise they are debating with a pernicious troll who’s dumbing down conversations here.
    You can’t reason with Redtruth because he won’t engage you reasonably.

  23. Dissenter

    Leeds,
    Funny Macherano walked away from the collision unscathed

    There’s no street smart in our English players. They don’t know when to draw back or go in hard.
    I would have called it accidental but it’s part of a larger pattern.
    Oxlade could have protected himself by letting the ball he had over ran go or go in hard on the tackle, he did neither.

    Sadly to say he won’t be missed much.

    Hope he’s back for the Euros but England do not even need him to be honest because I can think of five players in mid-table teams that have been better than him all season.

  24. Cesc Appeal

    Danny

    Only thing is I worry Welbeck will be put at RM and not ST now, deserves a run there I think. I don’t think it will be good news for Campbell, Wenger has never liked him and dropped him.

    But I have a feeling, because Walcott was promised the ST role he will continue to get played there over Welbeck as second choice to Giroud.

    Against Hull, seeing Welbeck at LM and Walcott at ST made no sense.

  25. Leedsgunner

    Dissenter

    “Leeds,
    Funny Macherano walked away from the collision unscathed….”

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that saw that. Oh well, like you say he won’t be missed much.

    Very sad that from the team that produced the Invincibles, Wenger is rearing a new crop of players we might as well call the Irrelevant.

    So much for a legacy at Arsenal.

  26. Emiratesstroller

    CA

    Our squad not just the team needs now a major overhaul. However, that is most unlikely under Wenger.

    The changes which are likely to be made:
    1. Departure of Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky.
    2. Departure of Debuchy and Ospina.

    The changes in addition which should be made:
    1. Mertesacker downgraded to squad player.
    2.Giroud downgraded to squad player.
    3.Ramsey downgraded to squad player.
    4.Cazorla downgraded to squad player.
    5.Oxlade-Chamberlain sold.
    6.Walcott sold
    7.Campbell sold

    Replacements:
    1. First Team Centre Back
    2.First Team Central Midfield
    3.First Team Winger
    4.First Team Striker
    5.Squad Goalkeeper [? Szczesny/Martinez]
    6.Squad Right Back [? Jenkinson]

    Personally I think that Wenger will recruit no more than 3 new players for
    squad plus probably a couple of returns from loan.

  27. Leedsgunner

    2.Giroud downgraded to squad player.

    LOL… he was always a squad player… it was just Wenger thast has been telling him that he’s better than he is.

    Shame RvP left when he did… had he stayed with Özil feeding him — I reckon we would won a title by now. Oh well, would have could should have…

  28. Emiratesstroller

    Gambon

    The game against RM was precisely a lesson as to how players like Ox-Chamberlain get injured so frequently.

    This player lacks football intelligence and his poor spacial awareness and decision making were precisely why he got injured.

    Mascherano did not tackle or foul Chamberlain. If he had there would have
    been a yellow card and free kick.

    That is not to suggest that players should not get injured, but this was an occasion resulting from player’s own stupidity.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    ES

    Agreed.

    We need a major overhaul, in the squad and the backroom as well, we’ve had some incremental changes to it, but you get the feeling the way Wenger is he likes familiarity and comfortability over the new, the challenging and possible dissent. Except the first one breeds stagnation, the second can breed evolution.

    It will be interesting to see if Arteta goes to City, I haven’t a clue what Arteta is like as a coach, but if Guardiola grabs him for a coaching role and Wenger lets him go, having said recently ‘he’s happy with his coaching team,’ that again will be an indication Wenger doesn’t push for better, he settles…again, stressing, not saying Arteta will be a great coach, he might be, but the point being Wenger is ‘happy’ with the way he has things.

    I agree though, Jenkinson will be given a go, Maitland Niles as well, probably Toral at least in the Emirates Cup or something, Wenger will tell everyone that Caz, Wilshere and Welbeck are new signings, so something crass like he usually does that ‘there’s 6 signings already…find me that quality on the market and I will buy them.’

  30. grooveydaddy

    CA

    It would be weird of Wenger to let Arteta, the coach, go considering he stuck with Arteta, the player, long past his use-by date.

  31. Carts

    Ox bent everything in the Mascherano challenge. Slowed down it looked painful AF. Yet again, instead of being withdrawn at HT he was told to go out and run it off. Amateur hour, literally.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    CA

    Arteta will retire this summer as a footballer. The question is whether Wenger
    will offer him a coaching position?

    He is very clearly one of the more intelligent and articulate footballers in game, which may explain why Guardiola rates him.

    Frankly our club needs urgently to refresh its coaching resources. Whether
    Wenger is the right person to organise this is debatable.

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Groovey

    Would be pretty unsurprising though.

    ES

    Personally I don’t think he is, a lot of our coaches have been here since late 1990’s or early 2000’s; long been a topic of debate our coaches aren’t good enough.

    But then, you have to consider the character of Wenger, he is a control freak, he wouldn’t allow a coach to have too much power or say, I would imagine regimes and what have you are set by Wenger, the coaches just ensure adherence and report back to him.

  34. Leedsgunner

    CA

    The most important thing for Wenger when considering new backroom staff is this:

    “Will he challenge my authority?”

    if not, he’s in. Yes men, are what’s important to him.

    Therefore, we are stagnant. Unified, but stagnant.

    Interesting that according to most modern business and leadership thinking currently though… controlled conflict within an organisation is a good thing because it correctly assesses reality and risks as well as spark genuine innovation.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Several years ago I was talking to one of my friends who was a senior partner and head of employment at a leading top 5 City Firm of solicitors.

    He made the point that the working life of a professional in a pressurised job was about 35 years and that in the case of the Partners in his firm they were expected to retire at 60.

    Similarly I was talking to a Governor of a leading Independent School not so
    long ago and Headmasters are now given a contract limit of 15 years.

    Whilst employment rules have changed in recent times it is fairly clear
    that most leading executives have a finite time at the top of their career and
    that should also apply for managers in football.

    Most management careers in football are frankly too short and seldom give
    the manager enough time to deliver. In Arsenal’s case it is the exact opposite.
    Wenger has been in the job far too long and after 20 years is indecisive and making far too many poor decisions.

  36. Carts

    Emirates

    That’s a fair point; but perhaps managers aren’t given a long time in this day and age, they’re well compensated and usually land another well paying gig in a short time. Certain manager don’t have shit to show for all their “experience” and “knowledge”.

  37. Cesc Appeal

    ES

    Great point.

    Whilst that ‘executive’ has a wealth of knowledge, and his counsel from time to time might be worth its weight in gold, he’s too stuck in his ways, thinks he knows better than anyone else and doesn’t know the modern world.

    Whereas a young executive, elevated from a position much lower, so having been amongst the realities of the modern world, brings a freshness and ambition to the role whilst still being able to lean on older heads from time to time.

    Even without making way, Wenger could have used Arsenal considerable wealth to bring in Europe’s very best coaches and allow them to run things in their own department.

    Instead, Wenger runs Arsenal like he built it, like a Duke or Earl or something walking around his estate, preserving it for the next generation, being cautious with the bountiful finances and clinging to the ideals of his own youth and resting the changing of the world.

  38. gambon

    ES

    Its exactly the same in Investment Banking.

    If you havent made MD at 35, you probably arent going to make it, and you leave to do something new.

    If you make MD, you are retired by 40.

    Its an industry that relies on incredibly hard work, new blood and constant development.

    Does anyone really, honestly think Wenger is devising new ways of improving the team?

    He is absolutely not, he is going through the motions, doing what he was doing 15 years ago and hoping for different results.

  39. Chika

    Countless times we must have witnessed how disgruntled clients demand to see the supervisor/boss of an erring staff.

    Without a doubt, Wenger’s modus operandi is not pleasing. At this point, i can’t care so much about him. Ultimately, my grouse is with Kroenke who remains satisfied with top4 finish.

    Wenger having access to funds is secondary. Some posters even claim Wenger wields too much power, well who allowed him such acclaimed luxury?

    The crux of the matter is, what are the targets set for him by his employers?

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Gambon

    Obviously banking is a young man’s profession, although I would have thought
    most achieve top management positions such as CEO around age of 40. That
    would allow for retirement by age of 55.

    Frankly someone like Wenger should have retired from Club Management
    around 55 and then taken up a position as an International Team Manager,
    which is a lot less stressful and demanding.

    If he did not want to retire from football he could of course sat as an ex officio member of Board of Directors at Football Club. I am sure there would have been plenty of offers including at Arsenal.

  41. Mick Kartun

    Leedsgunner: Wenger’s backroom yes men staffs.
    “Interesting that according to most modern business and leadership thinking currently though… controlled conflict within an organisation is a good thing because it correctly assesses reality and risks as well as spark genuine innovation.”

    You got that right.

    Yesterday just got a fight and harsh argument with my fellow workmate (purchasing manager) in weekly management meeting in front of our CEO. Me (as the Audit Manager) to show him a potential area risk in his procurement system, and he got mad at me.

    But after the CEO calmed us both down, we discussed the solution to mitigate the risk, then it’s all good after that and we both had a beer after work.

    You just can’t have most “yes men” in a modern aggressive type company.
    You will be gone.

  42. gambon

    Azed

    No. I work for an investment bank, but not in investment banking.

    I did but its a hardcore job, so i transferred to risk management.

    It takes a special type of person to work 9am – 12am daily, including weekends.

  43. jwl

    Guardian – The former Arsenal and France midfielder Robert Pires has retired from football at the age of 42.

    Pires, who won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners between 2000 and 2006, becomes the final member of Les Bleus’ 1998 World Cup-winning squad to hang up his boots.

  44. jwl

    Age is not Wenger’s only issue, he has been in same job/same company for far too long and he dominates so much that other people cant develop expertise, new skills because they not allowed. An Arsenal fan that I know says Wenger like Jack Welch at GE, good ten years together and there it should have ended, but overstay their welcome and it leads to decline of org because they don’t allow new people to introduce their ideas.

    Wenger is too old, I agree, to manager top club all on his own like he does.

    Wenger is semi retired, lives quiet life where he spends most of his time at serene colney where nothing much changes from year to year to year.

  45. Mick Kartun

    Good comment, jwl.

    Wenger’s long tenure in arsenal made him harder to go.

    Arsenal becomes his play toy, and he couldn’t get enough and won’t stop.

    For fuck sake wenger, didn’t you already have so many dildos as your pleasure toys.

  46. Carts

    “It takes a special type of person to work 9am – 12am daily, including weekends.”

    When pay day lands I know you’re eating well, though O_O

    Goodmans for breakfast and that..

  47. Cesc Appeal

    West Ham supposedly looking at Oxlade, a loan move there would be ideal…really would have been ideal for this season, we’re leaving it later and later with him, going down the Wilshere, Walcott road.

    He’s going to be 23 in the summer, loan him out.

    Loan him, sell Walcott, sell Campbell and have a thorough sorting out of our wide options, upgrade.

  48. Cesc Appeal

    ‘But Arsenal, to get back to their level of ten years ago, need major investment.

    A top class striker, experienced midfield anchorman and another centre half.’

    When Chief Wenger Piss Cup Carrier John Cross starts pointing out obvious deficiencies…

  49. Alex Cutter

    “It takes a special type of person to work 9am – 12am daily, including weekends.”

    “To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.”
    ― G.K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

  50. Cesc Appeal

    “To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.”
    G.K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

    ‘First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.’
    Tony Montana

  51. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Where did you get the sugar for that tea?’

    ‘I nicked it, when your back was turned, and I’d do it again.’

  52. MidwestGun

    So f*****g sick of the Wenger debate, the transfer debate, the measures of success debate. Its the same thing every single year and I don’t know how people can’t see that. Wenger can’t run a top football any more. He got old, he got stubborn, he got scared.

    Even though this league is totally nuts, United, City and Chelsea have imploded, we’re still talking about Arsenal suffering the same problems they always do, you’d have to see, if this league was ‘normal,’ Arsenal would be fighting with Spurs for 4th place again, because whilst Spurs have improved under Pochettino, I don’t think they are real top of the table material and this seasons surprise package Leicester, usually get one of those.

    There isn’t an excuse left for Wenger now, by the end of the year we will have over £250 Million in cash in the bank, we have an enormous £190 Million wage bill, Wenger has total say over everything at the club and the league spread itself for him. There is not an excuse left.

    All that said, come May, if, as I expect we haven’t won the league, he will still be in a job, people will avoid blaming him by saying ‘well he’s the manager, we will just have to wait and see who he buys, because he has.’

    Arsenal are so trapped, no idea how much longer this will go on for. The delusions, ideals and stubbornness of one man holding an entire football club back all because he was elevated to a level where he’s untouchable because achievements a long time ago
    ________________
    This x1000! Good comment CA… Pretty much how I feel. That’s why I posted it up again. hahaha Kind of got lost in the shuffle of Red’s dumbass Cech/Messi debate.
    Its been a long long wait for change. That day for me will be like a breath of fresh air.

  53. STV

    Red truth is actually kinda funny.. and generally keeps idiots like gambon and bamford quiet. Although some of his opinions are baffling, one about Peter chech thing is not.

  54. jwl

    I wish they had contests like this in Canada when I was teenage boy.

    ———-

    A 16-year-old Moscow boy has won a month in a hotel with a Russian porn star, and he appears to be pretty happy with his prize.

    Ruslan Shchedrin’s mom and sister, however, are not so pleased.

    Russian porn star Ekaterina Makarova announced the teen was the 100,000th visitor on an online gaming site — the winner of a contest in which she offered herself as the grand prize.

  55. kc

    As awful as it sounds, I’m glad Oxlade is out this weekend vs United. Campbell is the better option. The only way Wenger picks the right lineup is if it picks itself due to injuries. Sad but true.

  56. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    We so badly need a change.

    The only thing Wenger brings to the table now is consistency, you know he isn’t going to ‘fail’ in the biggest sense of the word.

    4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd…we know how it goes.

    Problem is, another phrase you could use is, ‘predictable,’ being predictable makes you vulnerable, look at the Barcelona players ‘we knew Arsenal would eventually crumble,’ Mascherano said we know Arsenal could stay disciplined for 90 minutes, Fergie wrote in a book how to beat Wenger, Mourinho had his number, he has stupid records like that November thing.

    If Wenger bought no one this summer, or an Elneny equivalent and shouted ‘like a new signing’ over and over, whilst we’d be mad, no one would be surprised, the pro-Wenger fans would feign surprise, then say ‘I think Wenger is being clever here’ and give some illogical disingenuous reason.

    But, the league is about to become tougher than its ever been, second tier clubs like Spurs and Liverpool now have great managers in Pochettino and Klopp, City will have arguably the best manager in Europe, Chelsea will have Simeone/Allegri/Conte and United will have Mourinho in the job he’s always wanted, the league will be swimming in cash as well, so that midtable EPL clubs can bully ‘big’ European sides.

    Meanwhile, we have a manager who wears a watch you still have to wind up every morning, lunchtime and evening and probably remember rationing. This is not the place for him, he’s going to look like a weak, limping gazelle to a league with Guardiola, Mourinho, Simeone/Conte/Allegri, Klopp, Pochettino all armed with ludicrous amounts of money and most importantly…focussing on bringing the best football product…that’s football product…they can.

  57. Leedsgunner

    “As awful as it sounds, I’m glad Oxlade is out this weekend vs United. Campbell is the better option. The only way Wenger picks the right lineup is if it picks itself due to injuries. Sad but true.”

    Welcome to squad rotation Wenger style — and if the third stringer ends up doing better than the first stringer Wenger makes sure he pops up and says he knew they were going to be a success along… that’s why he persisted with them. (eg. Coquelin).

    If they don’t work, he moans and blames others for “unfairly buying” depth into their squads.

    That’s why “injuries” are also an unspoken but a very active tool of AFC transfer policy. Whereas other teams view injuries as something to be actively avoided and build squad depth to prevent injuries, the hierarchy see injuries as a tool to manage expectations and as a tool to deflect the pressure to bring in new players.

    The sad thing is most Wengerites continue to be duped, hook line and sinker.

  58. Joe

    The difference cech has made this season is that we would be where Liverpool are in a terrible league. He has saved US pints and papered over the cracks saving weneger total and utter embarrassment.

  59. Spanishdave

    Walcott thinks because he gets paid so much that he is a star player. The tosser drifts around the pitch in a day dream and scores the odd goal, 6 so far, wow.
    Ox rubs around head down can’t dribble looses the ball and wanders back.
    Mert runs up the field and wanders back slowly, Sanchez runs inwards straight into defenders.
    Ramsey runs all over the pitch ,ball chasing, clueless.
    This is Wengers way of letting the players express themselves.
    Tosser.

  60. STV

    Chec is no savior of Arsenal this season. He obviously helped along with our defenders to reach in not so terrible currently. I am yet to be convinced he was what needed in the summer than a striker or even a dm or a winger. I also think a fully confidant ospina would not play much worse. Other than that howler against Dynamo, you dont have much to slate him continuously. infact he did really well last season to help us reaching 3rd and winning fa cup.

  61. salparadisenyc

    CartsFebruary 25, 2016 15:45:24
    Wenger is on a Dario Gradi vibe

    Just what we need is Wenger stepping into a dir. of footballing role. Ready to caretake at the slightest bit of faltering.

    Imagine the ruthlessness the club will show then.

  62. Cesc Appeal

    So we play Hull after Spurs now, our midweek game that week is at home to Swansea, theirs is away at West Ham…no excuses really, they have the much harder Wednesday night fixture.

  63. Dissenter

    We will have 7 games* in 22 days
    Feb 28 – Premier League Man United vs Arsenal 9:05 AM

    Mar 2 – Premier League Arsenal vs Swansea City 2:45 PM
    Mar 5 – Premier League Tottenham vs Arsenal 7:45 AM
    Mar 8 – FA Cup Fifth round Hull City vs Arsenal 2:00 PM
    Mar 12 – Premier League Arsenal vs West Brom 12:30 PM
    March 11-14 *Arsenal (if we beat Hull City) v Watford

    Mar 16 – Champions League Round of 16, Game 2
    Barcelona vs Arsenal 3:45 PM
    Mar 19 – Premier League Everton vs Arsenal

    The sick bay better get new beds in fast, We’ll play 3 games in 5 days from Mar 12-Mar 16th.
    This just makes the stupid decision not to sign an outfield player last summer even more stupefying.

    The good thing is the pro-wenger people have the familiar excuse of injuries to fall back to.

  64. Joe

    Leicester vs watford. 3 points Leicester

    City vs Newcastle. 3 points city.

    Spurs vs Swansea. 1 or 3 points Spurs.

    Arsenal vs United. 1 point Arsenal.

    So table after this weekend will be.

    Leicester. 56
    Spurs 52 or 54
    Arsenal 52
    City 50.
    United 42

  65. DivineSherlock

    Ohh the doom is upon us , moaners never stop moaning.

    Half the shit people say on here is frankly downright pathetic.

    Nothing has changed ?? We are 2 , I repeat just 2 freaking points off the top. We haven’t fucked up as we always do in February, despite the injuries . We are still in with a chance of a double !! Seriously you mugs need to grow up.

    You think its all the same , cos you dont want to believe otherwise . Sissies the whole lot of you, cos expecting you’re team to win the PL will break your heart if they eventually won’t. Whatever happened to Onwards and Upwards ? If you really think this season is the same as before you should just give up watching football cos nothing is more unpredictable than this season .

    Sorry for the rant.

  66. MidwestGun

    Sherlock-
    Pretty much the same shit you’ve been saying the 4 years Ive been on here.
    The season might not be the same but the mistakes are exact same. Difference being the other Clubs have made bigger mistakes.
    Onwards and upwards…. great…… except show me the improvement on the pitch in our play.
    Actually, you should just copy past your comments from two seasons ago.

  67. MidwestGun

    Hell, Wenger even knows we are making the same mistakes…. Naïve I believe is the word……. he used. Problem is he will carry on as you were… bounceback… blah, blah, blah, blah.

  68. Alex Cutter

    “Sherlock-
    Pretty much the same shit you’ve been saying the 4 years Ive been on here.”

    I don’t know why you waste your time with this one. Never clever with the banter, completely reactionary.

  69. MidwestGun

    For the record here are the same mistakes, I grow weary of.
    Stop playng with an immobile forward who cant dribble. At this point our only option is Welbeck as Theo is so out of form its just silly. Early in season we had success with Theo up top and Giroud as an impact sub late when the other team is tired. This been going on since RVP.

    Stop going into season short with backups who are old or injured and cant be relied on. Been going into seasons with a glaring hole since I can remember.

    Stop relying on crocks to be the difference late in the season they never are. First Diaby now Jack.

    Stop pushing both fullbacks high up the pitch only to get caught on break. Football 101… one goes other stays. been going on forever. Additionally our so called DM’s have had a habit since forever to wonder forward. Song, Arteta, Flamini, now Coquilen.. that’s why Ozil was yelling at him by the way.

    Same mistakes. Same manager.
    Don’t even get me started on project youth.

  70. Danny

    Looking at the number of Man U players who are injured, we’ll never get a better chance than now to beat them but with Wenger………

  71. Cesc Appeal

    We should be going to Old Trafford with a lot of confidence, it should be the United fans worrying about playing us, anything less than three points is a bad result, would be yet another sad indictment of our bottle

  72. Leedsgunner

    Middy

    Great post @2115… summarises our predicament perfectly. Next time Wenger and co says we’ll learn from this… fax it over with the word — WHEN?

  73. MidwestGun

    Don’t get me wrong…. We should be beating this shower… but it would have been much better had they suffered a humiliating loss to a Club from Denmark I cant pronounce or spell.

  74. Danny

    Look if we play like we did in the first 65 minutes against Barca in our remaining 12 matches then we should win the league but with Wenger it’s a huge problem. We beat Man U then a top 4th place is guaranteed so will he be arsed to go all the way? Will he be bothered to try and motivate the players, suddenly make decent substitutions, team selections etc I for one adly doubt it.

  75. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    For sure, considering Midjytland (shot in the dark) were established two years after Wenger took over at Arsenal. Proper shower that lot.

    Zero excuses for anything less than three points, if we lose, we defeated ourselves.

    Was sort of hoping after the FA Cup the wheels would come off for Spurs, but strong showing tonight, Swansea at home for them should be routine.

  76. MidwestGun

    Leeds _
    Ya.. man. I just tire of people acting like its unreasonable to be skeptical. My memory doesn’t have an erase button just yet. Maybe soon.. tho, getting old.

  77. Cesc Appeal

    Danny

    That said, Wenger does not like being questioned, even in the insulated world at Arsenal, even with the adoration of half a fan base, he must know when we post results of over £250 Million in the bank, if Leicester and Spurs were to finish above us, or even just Spurs…massive, massive questions would be asked.

    There’s more fluctuation in Arsenal fan opinion than I’ve seen before, there’s probably a two thirds who are either fully against or fully for Wenger, then another third who fluctuate (speaking arbitrarily)…no patience for the man any more.

    Whether that would change anything, I doubt it, but will be interesting to see how fans react if we actually start moving backward in an era of unprecedented financial wealth for us.

  78. Danny

    if Leicester and Spurs were to finish above us, or even just Spurs…massive, massive questions would be asked.
    —————————————–
    I’m not sure coz if we still get 3rd or 4th then Stan will be satisfied.

  79. Dissenter

    Good thing Spuds are still entangled in the Europe league. That’s good enough for 3-6 dropped league points till April.

  80. Dissenter

    Cesc,
    “We should be going to Old Trafford with a lot of confidence, it should be the United fans worrying about playing us, anything less than three points is a bad result, would be yet another sad indictment of our bottle”

    I’m not so sure that’s true
    We haven’t scored against an 11-men team in six games. Our Leicester goals only came when they were down to 10-men.

  81. Dissenter

    Mid,
    “For the record here are the same mistakes, I grow weary of.
    Stop playng with an immobile forward who cant dribble.”

    Giroud- The immobile one who cant dribble
    Walcott- The pay one who can’t dribble nor score
    Welbeck – The elegant runner who can’t score to save his life [OK, i take that back after the Leicester goal]

    We are royally f***ed.

  82. Champagne Charlie

    Couldn’t get United at a better time. Their full strength squad is poor so missing some key players is stuff of dreams for us… Curious what excuses will come our way when we inevitably show our lack of genuine quality once again and get out passed by this United side.

    Side note: surely this summer has to be the one where we buy Marco Reus? Perfect right sided option for us. Him or Higuain finally though the middle has got to be considered.

  83. Confidentgoner

    Dissenter

    Spurs are a better team than us and I fully expect them to beat us. They are very mobile, strong and can play at a high tempo, plus they are home. No chance under Wenger at this moment. Best is a draw. That’s why it’s important to beat MU.

  84. Moray

    It is really unbelievable before the Barca game to come on to legrove and see that there are still people who think we are going to get a result in a game like that. We never have and we never will until things change big time. At best we turn them around in the second leg once they are so out of sight that the pressure is off.

    But then again, this is half the reason there is not more pressure for change to happen. We are like a broken clock that many of the supporters continue to think will just miraculously fix itself and start working again…

  85. STV

    I know its very familiar but these words sums up Wenger.

    “You either die as a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”

  86. Mick Kartun

    I love this AT guy countered argument to so many his readers that trying so hard to pretend that they’re not fucking AKBs. Long posts, but you have to read the whole counter argument to see how this AT guy can not be easily hostaged and surrender to be AKB mutant.

    Taken from AT:

    1. AKB #1 ARGUMENT:
    “There is no need to make things personal. It’s just football. That is a game that is meant to be enjoyed.It is not an opportunity to slate others.
    You just need to accept a result and move on. Football will be there forever – Wenger will come and go but arsenal will remain.
    I see how far you go with your Wenger affair. Yes I agree that Wenger is the worst football coach the world has ever seen but his reign will not last.
    He will go and arsenal will move on.
    It doesn’t matter how much pressure you put on it because at the end it is just football and there shall only be one winner. Remember patience is a virtue and change is compulsory.
    It is so sad that we have decided to make football so political these days. You need to learn the level of our club and accept it.
    So what if we lose or win. At the end we all go home and we still love our team. Arsenal is a good team but we are not Barcelona or Bayern. Love and appreciate your team because you are a fan and not a football politician.
    I would love it if one day you change the nature of your articles and put more reasoning into it.”

    AT COUNTER #1:
    “Don’t be absurd, Arsenal are selling you a product. If you bought a substandard product in a shop for £100 (if not double) would you just accept it and move on? What if you were being perpetually ripped off by a corporation year after year?
    We’re talking hundreds of millions of pounds of ordinary people’s money being used to enrich the pockets of, basically, thieves. Do you have any idea how much they’re taking out of the club for achieving fuck all? The bonuses, the pay rises, the “dividends”, the salaries?
    Don’t judge people by your own non-existent standards, and don’t come on here and comment if you profess not to care. Hypocrite.

    2. AKB #2 ARGUMENT:
    “My friend, you make no sense in your reply to Grimsby B. If it’s a product as you say, then don’t buy it. Don’t pay. You cant come to my profitable venue and remove the one person who makes it all work at a profit. What do you have to offer that is better? Actions, not words…
    Arsenal was never an AC Milan, Ajax, Bayern. Never.
    There comes a point where an intelligent mature human being recognises that in order to reach point a you need to go through phase d ,c and/or b.
    If the club needs 10-15-20 years of saving in order to look Barcelona Chelsea and City eye to eye then so be it. As a fan you accept it and either stay back for a while or support. This idea that you can come in my private business and decide what needs to be done or not is ludicrous. Absurdity at its finest.
    What’s your alternative? Bring Usmanov? That’s so contradictory to your rhetoric as Usmanov is on record complaining that Arsenal does not pay dividends to shareholders!!!!

    AT COUNTER #2:
    I don’t buy the ‘product’. I haven’t been to an Arsenal game for years, bought any merchandise or put money in the club’s pocket in any way, shape or form.
    There’s doesn’t need to be a financial alternative, Arsenal already have the resources to compete. The problem is the management structure.
    If the club is competitive and successful, I’d have no problem with the owner taking a dividend. But when the hierarchy is charging the fans comparatively extortionate prices while showing zero ambition, amidst nefarious financial activities, i.e. owner, manager and CEO rewarding themselves disproportionately for underachieving, that sort of fraudulent activity requires analysis.

  87. rollen

    DivineSherlock
    February 25, 2016 19:57:31

    Ohh the doom is upon us , moaners never stop moaning.

    Half the shit people say on here is frankly downright pathetic.

    Nothing has changed ?? We are 2 , I repeat just 2 freaking points off the top. We haven’t fucked up as we always do in February, despite the injuries .

    Lol

    AKBs please start watching games.

    How many game we won in 2016?